|The Beauty of Christ|
I love this time of year when the leaves change colors. I was driving down a road the other day that was lined with trees. The trees had the most remarkable colors. As I drove, the wind blew and leaves began falling down in front of my car. I was driving through a shower of colorful leaves! It was beautiful.
During the summer the leaves blend in with everything else that is green. But when autumn comes, the temperatures drop and the days become shorter. According to the Smithsonian Institute, leaves already have orange and yellow pigments within themselves. As the temperatures become cooler and there is less sunlight, the chlorophyll in the leaves begins to break down. When this happens, the already present brilliant colors start coming out. When the chlorophyl breaks down, there are other chemical reactions that begin to take place creating bright red colors.
When Jesus came, He put us ahead of Himself. When we consistently put others first, we begin to look more like Him. When there is less of us, more of Jesus begins to shine forth. In Matthew 16:28, we find, “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’”
The Apostle Paul expounded on this in Philippians 2:3-4 when he said, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” As believers, we are called to deny our “self” and count others as more significant and look out for them.
The chlorophyl in leaves is a lot like our “self”. When leaves are denied chlorophyl their beauty shines brightly and they stand out. When Christians practice self-denial and put others ahead of themselves, it is then that their inner beauty shines forth. That inner beauty is the light of Christ. It is when we deny ourselves that we look most like Christ and our world is showered with His beauty, much like the shower of beautiful leaves on my drive.
These are your Words for Wednesday.
Don't forget that this weekend is the end of Daylight Savings Time so "Fall Back" an hour Saturday night. I hope to see you this Sunday morning at 10:45 at Ballentine Elementary. Have a great rest of your week!